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Separation of Church and State?

Discussion in 'Culture & Religion' started by berlinlife06, Apr 18, 2007.

  1. berlinlife06

    berlinlife06 New Member

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    I wonder why we believe that there is a separation of Church and State when in reality, that is not true. And I'm going to point at one issue: Gay Marriage. The reasons argued by those who oppose it, are based only on religious beliefs. As citizens of a nation, gay and straight people should have EQUAL CIVIL RIGHTS, don't you think? So, Marriage is basically a CIVIL contract, as many don't get married in a church, but in City Hall. So, why deny the same basic rights as any couple to gay people, if the State's obligation is to protect the rights of EVERY CITIZEN? What do you think?
     
  2. dong

    dong New Member

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    Well, we've covered the "gay rights" and "gay marriage" discussions in detail on the two threads by that name...within which the points of the -lack- of separation of church and state have surfaced.

    But this thread focuses primarily on the latter, so I'll have at it: AFAIK, separation of church and state was constitutionally ideal, but historically speaking this is impossible- the laws were founded on the religious axiologies that the people who made them were born and raised on. Hence the morality that the law reflected could be arguably religiously motivated.

    But even this doesn't necessarily mean that religion and the state are linked- since the principles behind the morality that the religion underpins are not exclusive (it would be pretty darn problematic if they were: "No, YOUR religion can't disapprove of murder because MY religion does!"), even if traditional interpretations of some religions entail that the religions ARE exclusive.

    The main problem here is that more recently, it seems, there has been a resurgence of religion, especially since 9/11. Question is, is this an absolute revival, is it relative and subject to media focus, is it a small bunch of fundamentalists using loudspeakers, or is the fundamentalist population growing, or what?

    Regardless of what it might or mightn't be, it has to be said that the net effect is apparent: religion and its surrounding issues are, in a meaningful way, being placed on the map very clearly, since we're all discussing them now. And so whilst the age of secular humanism might still prevail in some limited ways, the religious motivations for political decisions are increasing in incidence and most importantly visibility. Most recently, everybody has finally noticed the way it has taken a concrete hold of politics itself.

    I would say that this is a slightly separate concern from the point about historical roots I raised earlier- because I think the recent manifestation is more a social phenomena than, say...part of a cornerstone feature of the society it takes part in.
     
  3. xboxundone

    xboxundone New Member

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    ultimately you cant seperate church and state when the United States where based with the foundation of Christianity.
     
  4. kida

    kida New Member

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    I don't think the recent perception that religion is playing more of a role in politics is necessarily a sign of Americans becoming more religious. Instead, I think Christians in America are finding that the morals that were generally accepted by society aren't being accepted any longer. Christians didn't have to get political about abortion and gay marriage because they weren't issues before.

    It's kind of the same thing that's happening in Muslim nations: younger generations want access to Western culture, including music and movies. Older generations (and younger people who are more devout) fear that these things are destructive to their culture and their moral principles, so there is a backlash against it.
     
  5. HannerAnna

    HannerAnna New Member

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    i don't think it's really possible to separate church and state because if someone's faith is really important to them then it shapes what they think about every aspect of life.
     
  6. TheoryAll

    TheoryAll New Member

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    The united states was founded by Puritans, who wants to be a puritan? I don't think it would be impossible to separate church and state. I think the connection between church and state makes room for atrocities in the name of god in stead of level headedness in the name of logic and reason. Just one opinion among many.
     
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